First Test of CPO’s Vibration Dampening Camera Tray

First Test of CPO’s Vibration Dampening Camera Tray

So, I’m pretty excited to report that my idea for a simple tricopter vibration dampening camera tray design looks to be working great. Probably the most unknown part of my build (as in the part that I haven’t completely worked out in my head yet) was the camera tray.  I have seen lots of ideas on vibration dampening.  Some were very complicated, some just didn’t seem to work. I tried to go with a blank slate, and throw all other ideas out and think through what might be a useable design.

Of course, you all now know what I came up with…a heavy duty zip tie mounting solution to connect the camera/battery tray to the aircraft. I thought the zip ties would be stiff enough to provide rigidity to the assembly, yet flexible enough to provide vibration dampening.

This morning, I stole the opportunity to test this design for the first time. I was out a little before sunrise with my GoPro camera rubber banded to the camera tray.  It doesn’t get any simpler than that!  I did put a couple of pieces of gyro mounting foam under the camera so it wasn’t sitting directly on the wood tray.

I couldn’t be more pleased!  The lighting of the video isn’t the best…but remember, this is still pre-dawn lighting.  I wasn’t doing a camera test, but more looking at the mount.  Were there signs of vibration?  Jello?  Were the props in the picture? I feel like I can answer no to all of those questions.  The footage is unedited for cropping or stabilization. This is straight out of the camera, at the widest FOV setting.

As you can see in the video, my battery had to be moved back to the tail boom to offset the weight of the camera up front. I may extend that tray further back.  Not sure yet.  When I start adding FPV gear on the tail boom, the battery will probably go back under the body.  That testing will come soon.

Also, I consider this a testament to Steveis’ KK2.1 V1.11S2 firmware. This flight is with completely stock settings. I have done ZERO tuning. This works, in my opinion, because I took great care in making sure that the KK board is directly over the center of gravity point on the tricopter.  It shouldn’t have to work very hard to keep the thing in check, because it is naturally balanced. If all power was lost at once, I would expect it to fall straight down (right side up) because it is balanced exactly that way. And of course the default settings that Steveis put in the firmware are nearly perfect given that fact.

I can tell my P gains are a little high when the gusts of wind come…so I know I have some tuning to do…but you have to admit this is a pretty decent start!

Thanks for all of the support, and as always, feedback is always appreciated!